The principal author, Dr. Gerald Rising, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at the University at Buffalo, has written over a dozen textbooks and one hundred journal articles dealing with classroom instruction and research he conducted concerning effective teaching methods.
Co-author, Dr. Ray Patenaude, is a mathematics teacher at South Pointe High School, Rock Hill, South Carolina. A specially trained and recognized master teacher, he mentors beginning teachers and college interns. Ray also served as a University of South Carolina research assistant. There he has designed and conducted research on the effectiveness of applets that teach calculus concepts.
In a recent interview, Rising answered the question, What is wrong with our school classrooms today?
"Here," he says, "are five key problems that need to be addressed:
(1) We fail to recognize the important contributions of our classroom teachers and the heavy responsibilities we assign them.
(2) Teacher preparation does not focus on the real world of schools.
(3) Classroom teachers are being directed to organize and present new curricula without appropriate support.
(4) Poorly designed, commercially prepared standardized tests are forcing teachers to focus on wrong aspects of subjects they teach.
(5) School administrators and supervisors are not providing classroom teachers support they need."
While these problems cry out for nationwide responses, Letters to a Young Math Teacher addresses them in detail. The book contains a series of essays about the real world of school classrooms and corridors inhabited by teachers, principals, students and parents of every stripe.
The authors draw on their own extensive experiences and their work with teaching colleagues to guide our thinking about these and other serious issues. Although aimed, as the title suggests, at beginning teachers of mathematics, most letters apply to the teaching of all subjects. Experienced teachers as well as everyone concerned about our schools can gain from reading this book.
Here is what reviewers say about this book:
* "The authors have been there and done that and they share their expertise in a very candid, approachable, human style."
* "Anybody who starts a teaching career in any field, not only in math, may benefit from reading this book."
* And "I prepare new math teachers for their careers through a sequence of courses and on-the-job training experiences. But what I can never give them is the very thing this book provides; a mentor they can keep by their side as they encounter the daily challenges of actually teaching in an actual classroom, day after day.”
Look for this seminal approach to our school problems in your local bookstore, at www.Amazon.com or www.wrparks.com.